Charges: Child was in car targeted by Highway 14 drive-by shooter

Police say a child was in the vehicle targeted by an alleged drive-by shooter on Highway 14 Monday night.

Joshua Raymond Armendariz, 43, was charged in Blue Earth County Court Tuesday with felony counts of dangerous weapons – drive-by shooting towards an occupied motor vehicle, 2nd-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, receiving stolen property, and a firearm violation for a felon convicted of a crime of violence.

According to a criminal complaint, a man driving a Ford pulled into a parking lot at Good Counsel and Riverfront drives Monday to pick up a child.  At about 9:40 p.m.,  Armendariz allegedly pulled up to the car driving a gray four-door Chrysler and said he was looking for someone.  The complaint says Armendariz was agitated and started arguing with the man.  The child then got into the car and the man drove out of the parking lot.

The complaint says the man left the lot, taking Riverfront Dr to westbound Highway 14 when he noticed Armendariz was following him.  As Armendariz allegedly sped up and started to gain on the Ford, the man told the child to get down because he believed Armendariz had a gun.  Armendariz passed the Ford and fired a gunshot at the vehicle, according to court documents.  Investigators later found a hole in the B-pillar, which is the roof support structure between the front and back windows.  The complaint says a bulge inside the door was consistent with a bullet impact.  A bullet was later recovered from the driver’s side door of the Ford, according to the complaint.

Armendariz was later arrested during a traffic stop by North Mankato police. A search warrant performed on the Chrysler produced a 9mm pistol loaded with seven live rounds.  A spent shell was also found on the floorboard.  The complaint says the firearm’s serial number revealed the weapon had been reported stolen out of Winnebago.

The victim identified a photograph of Armendariz as the Chrysler driver, according to the complaint.

Armendariz has more than ten felony convictions.  In Blue Earth County, those convictions include two violations of a no-contact order, fleeing police in a motor vehicle, and domestic assault.



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